Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cutting off your economic nose to spite your "illegal aliens" face

Riverside, New Jersey.
Business quickly dried up after the law against illegal immigrants. Last week, on what would usually be a busy Thursday afternoon, Ms. Guedes ate a salad and gave a friend a manicure, while the five black stylist chairs sat empty.

"Now I only have myself," said Ms. Guedes, 41, speaking a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. "They all left. I also want to leave but it’s not possible because no one wants to buy my business."

Numerous storefronts on Scott Street are boarded up or are empty, with For Sale by Owner signs in the windows. Business is down by half at Luis Ordonez's River Dance Music Store, which sells Western Union wire transfers, cellphones and perfume. Next door, his restaurant, the Scott Street Family Cafe, which has a multiethnic menu in English, Spanish and Portuguese, was empty at lunchtime.

"I came here looking for an opportunity to open a business and I found it, and the people also needed the service," said Mr. Ordonez, who is from Ecuador. "It was crowded and everybody was trying to do their best to support their families."

Within a year or so, we'll probably be saying "Hazleton" and "Lewistown" in the same breath.

Andy in Harrisburg

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should we care about businesses that thrive on the presence of illegal aliens? If these people were properly kept out of this country, the owners would never have opened up shop in the first place. This would be like complaining about the FBI raiding a town that is a center of organized crime and then righteously complaining that the federal authorities are responsible for bankrupting the local bars and cafes due to a loss of clientele. Those who profit by the presence of illegal immigrants risk suffering by their absence. It's a good civics lesson for our children.

7:24 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

It's not that black-and-white. We don't know how many legal residents left Riverside due to the hostile environment in the town. These businesses may have been hurt as much or more by that loss of business than by loss of undocumented immigrants.


11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What evidence do you have that any citizen who didn't cater to the business of illegal aliens has ever been injured by laws directed at illegal immigrants? It seems to be a very heavy burden to insist that not one innocent person will ever be unintentionally harmed by the enactment of a law. Are there any laws against criminal acts that were ever enacted with the understanding that not one innocent would suffer? We propose laws every day to combat anti-social behavior, but rarely do the citizens go to court and challenge their enactment because there's a remote chance that a mistake will be made and they'll be arrested for it. Courts are making judgments prior to existing evidence that proposed laws actually inconvenience the innocent. In the case of Hazleton, what if their ordinance had been allowed to stand, and only illegal aliens had been affected? Wouldn't that had been proof that Hazleton was right? If the contrary were true, the offended citizen would always have recourse to the courts once again. Isn't that why we have an appeals process?

3:19 PM  

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